If you think more people are being diagnosed with food allergies these days, you aren't imagining things. While it isn't clear if the increase is due to genetic or environmental factors, the Center for Disease Control estimates that the number of children with food allergies increased by 18 percent between 1997-2007. As reported by Food Allergy & Research Education, statistics show that as many as 15 million people in the U.S. live with food allergies.
"Retailers are more conscious about allergy risk."
Food allergies can cause a number of ailments, ranging from mild discomfort to severe, life-threatening reactions. For this reason, laws like the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer protection Act of 2004 require producers to label their products if they contain one of the eight most common food allergens. These are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy.
But do current laws go far enough? The more we learn about food allergies, it becomes increasingly apparent that even incredibly small trace levels of an offending ingredient can cause a problem. Sometimes, food products that aren't made with allergens will still contain trace levels due to cross-contamination. While many food manufacturers will label products that are produced in the same facilities as foods containing allergens, this is not a legal requirement. Those who suffer from the most severe forms of allergies may find that they do not have all the information they need.
Luckily for them, retailers are more conscious about allergy risk. Supermarkets are stocking a wider variety of specialized foods and are training their employees to answer questions that customers might have. Producers could also help by offering clearer custom labels for their products. At DuraFast, we carry a wide selection of printers and printing supplies to help your labels stand out for all the right reasons. Contact us today!